At East African Playgrounds, we take a huge amount of pride in our Gorilla Trek; the level of support we offer, the transparency we give in terms of where funds are allocated and the ethical standards that we maintain are all of utmost importance to us.

The history

East African Playgrounds established the Gorilla Trek in 2012, with the idea of making the ultimate African adventure – one that allows you to do, see and experience more than any other project on offer. With Tom and Carla (the founders)’s mixed experiences with volunteering organisations in the past – one poor, and one fantastic – they were keen to set the Gorilla Trek up correctly. With the ethical and approachable groundwork they laid out, the project has flourished – allowing hundreds of students to explore, discover and develop Uganda every summer since.

We’re not any old overseas expedition

We are absolutely committed to providing the best possible experience for all involved – from you, the volunteer, to the communities you’ll be engaging with. We have a dedicated team of staff who will be with you every step of the way: from joining us to fundraising, providing cultural and fundraising training and preparation to even being in country with you whilst you’re volunteering.


With hundreds of companies offering volunteering opportunities that are both expensive and have a negative impact on the people and communities they are supposed to support, volunteering abroad has an unsteady reputation. But we believe that done well, the impact in endless. Our projects have been able to develop and grow due to the clear values and ethics that we follow.

Here are some of our core values:


When you volunteer with East African Playgrounds you have a consistent staff member with you from joining us through to volunteering in Uganda. We aim to make ourselves very approachable to make sure that no question is too big or too small, too silly or too serious.


Without planning it, the ‘EAP family’ has become a thing! Due to the caring nature of the charity, our volunteers leave feeling part of the family, and confident in having their say about the project. A common phrase used is ‘It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later.’

Highly Ethical

We are committed to our ethics throughout the charity. We have set up the project to ensure that volunteers are adding value to every project and are not simply there for the sake of it. If you volunteer on an East African Playgrounds project, it won’t be a holiday: you’ll be working hard.

High Impact

On average, each project benefits over 1,500 children for generations to come. Our volunteers have a positive impact on the communities they are working with due to the training we provide, the project we run and the communities we select to work with.

Affordable and transparent

Volunteering doesn’t have to be expensive. We make it clear where the money you raise and pay goes, so that all costs are transparent. We also give various options when in country so the project can fit different budgets, depending on the amount of extra activities you want to do.

No third-party companies

We don’t work with any gap year or challenge companies as they inflate costs to maximize their own profits.

Sustainable Volunteering

With our volunteers helping to build a high-quality playground their impact is long term and allows us to train and employ more disadvantaged young adults.

Sustainable Trekking

Our treks are run by an awesome social enterprise, who use their profits to support the communities that you trek through. We purchase our Gorilla Permits from the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, who are in charge of conserving the gorillas, and we ensure that all guides and volunteers are given cultural training before they begin.

Book your place now or find out more information on the Gorilla Trek page